Alice Dary is a French student coming from the suburbs of Paris. After she graduated from the ESCP Bachelor in Management (BSc) in 2020, she decided to further nurture and develop the analytical spirit and scientific thinking that distinguishes her.
Currently, Alice is pursuing her studies at a joint Master offered by two of the most prestigious Business and Engineering Schools in Europe, ESSEC Business School and CentraleSupélec.
Your personal inclination is definitely scientific. Why did you decide to study management, a rather generalist degree, and how did you come to choose ESCP for your education?
Since I tend to use scientific logic when thinking, right after my baccalaureate I decided to enroll in a preparatory engineering course in France. However, it did not match either my expectations or my academic interests, which is why I decided to pursue management studies. This field would have allowed me to explore the business world both from a purely financial and managerial point of view, but also to discover new horizons, such as ethics, intercultural skills, or CSR.
What prompted me to choose the Bachelor in Management (BSc) at ESCP, was the international opening of the school and, above all, the opportunity to discover three great European cities as part of my studies.
I am an open-minded person and as a result, having to adapt to different cultures and lifestyles excites me rather than scares me. To be honest, sometimes I still need a little nudge to make risky decisions – like living in a foreign country – and I am so thankful that my family pushed me in that direction.
Being so independent already at the age of 18 allows you to mature much faster than your peers. It also gives you such an amount of freedom that responsibility becomes a big part of you. If I were to go back in time, I would do it all over again because the experiences it brought were incredible.
The opportunity to live and study in three different cities allowed you to experience different cultures and habits in everyday life. Which path did you choose and what surprised you the most in the three countries where you lived?
I chose the track London – Turin – Berlin, and the experiences in the three campuses were very different. London is always awake, whether it is 5 pm or 5 am. At any time, there is always someone walking on the streets or taking the bus. Not even the weather is as bad as they say, it’s not very different from Paris. It is such a cosmopolitan city that even as a foreigner you cannot help but feel at home.
In Turin, the food is not expensive and is especially amazing, the sun is here most of the year, and Italians always carry their energy around (much needed to speak that loud).
Berlin is definitely the most alternative city among the three, and locals don’t speak English as well as you may think. To buy your croissant you will most definitely have to stick to the little four words you learned during German lessons. The East of the city really carries the atmosphere of ‘East Berlin’, while the rest of it has been rebuilt and is quite modern.
Well, each campus clearly reflects the country it is in. I am not used to paying attention to stereotypes, but it was fun to see how some of them came to life in front of us. In Turin, not a single exam started sharp on time. In London, each professor had a different nationality, well reflecting the multinational spirit of the city. In Berlin, rules had to be strictly followed: not a single student walked on the grass in the garden, I swear!
I would say the main challenges for us were first to be understood since in Turin and Berlin we had to use the local language, and second, to keep focused on the studies because there were so many inviting things going on around us.
If you think back to the past three years, what are your best memories? If you had to highlight a city, a Campus, or an activity that particularly impressed you, which would it be?
My favourite campus was the Berlin one. It was the biggest of the three with plenty of room to study but also to have a conversation and take a coffee together.
Another aspect I liked very much is the fact that almost all the cohort was together at the Berlin Campus (250 bachelor students), so we got to meet almost everyone that was graduating the same year. Since we had been getting to know each other for 2 years, the general atmosphere was very enjoyable. Thanks to the administration, which offered us a space to organise parties, the well-known Dr. Faust bar, we were able to reunite the cohort and mix it with the other programmes of the campus.
Also, the courses we followed during the third year were the most interesting, in my opinion. We chose our management electives and got a deeper knowledge of the domains we are more interested in. One activity, in particular, caught my attention: the Business Game.
Divided into teams of 6 students, we had to pretend to manage a company for 5 years in a period of only 3 days. It showed us how each sector of a company plays an important role in its success or failure.
Although coming from different countries and different management electives, we had to make decisions regarding the production, financing, the staff, and other components of a company, and we quickly noticed how difficult it is to have everyone agreeing. It actually gave us an idea of what was coming next and reminded us about the importance of our studies.
Also, the fact that it was a competition made sure everyone was involved and willing to bring something to the table because no one wanted to be part of the losing team.
After you graduated from ESCP, you had a choice of numerous options for your future. In which field have you decided to direct your studies and what would you like your contribution to be for tomorrow’s society?
I am continuing my studies in a Master in Data Sciences and Business Analytics offered by ESSEC and CentraleSupelec, two prestigious French schools. I wanted to find something that fitted my scientific spirit as well as my business background and interest, and what better choice than being able to enter engineering (CentraleSupelec) and a business school (ESSEC) at the same time? It has been such a joy to be accepted.
I think the consumption model in our society isn’t sustainable for the Earth anymore and, most importantly, isn’t beneficial for people’s mental health. Our generation needs to create a new model of society and thus a different way of working and creating value. I would like to be part of a company that will guide the change, helping to find a model more compatible with the Earth’s needs as well as ours. I believe a lot of people know that we have to make a change but don’t know how to start and leading the way has always been part of my nature, probably due to being the first of the siblings.
In 5 or 10 years, I see myself in a consulting firm probably as it would allow me to constantly work on different projects in different domains and prevent me from focusing on only one sector. I like to change constantly and adapt to new situations, which is why consulting should be a good fit. Of course, I aspire to succeed in my career and climb the ladder to get big responsibilities and a high job position, but I am open to wherever life leads me.
The Bachelor’s experience has positively changed me, as it allowed me to gain a lot of confidence and let go of a large number of irrational fears.
If you are also considering taking this path, take the opportunity and enjoy every experience that comes with it. It will be hard sometimes, to be far from home, to confront yourself to a new culture, to enter the unknown, but the pros of this BSc will always outnumber the cons.
You will have to find resources inside yourself and see that everywhere we find people that are like us no matter the country or the background. If you don’t know which domain interests you, the BSc allows you to discover the different sectors and guide your decision to the next step of your career.